Fresh off a 24-win campaign that saw them lose in disheartening fashion to Cornell in the NCAA Tournament, the Michigan Wolverines men's hockey team will enter the new season ranked No. 3 in the country in USA Hockey's preseason poll.
The Wolverines picked up two of the poll's 34 first-place votes to come in at third overall, narrowly finishing ahead of No. 4 North Dakota in total points, 408-407. Heading into a new year, Red Berenson's team will be forced to lean on junior goaltender Adam Janecyk after the graduation of standout Hobey Baker Finalist Shawn Hunwick.
The 5'7, 166-pound Hunwick posted a 2.00 goals-against average over 40 games with the Wolverines a year ago, meaning that Janecyk, who made just five appearances in 2011-12, will need to assimilate quickly to his new role.
As expected, Boston College earned 20 first-place votes to take the No. 1 spot in the poll after claiming the Frozen Four in spectacular fashion over Ferris State. Minnesota, who actually tied the Eagles in total points at 476 despite only picking up 10 first-place votes, will open the new season at No. 2 after winning 28 games a year ago.